By Richard John Neuhaus
Christians are through their nature a humans misplaced. Their actual house is with God; in civic lifestyles, they're alien electorate “in yet no longer of the world.” In American Babylon, eminent theologian Richard John Neuhaus examines the actual fact of that ambiguity for Catholics in the USA today.Neuhaus addresses the fundamental quandaries of Catholic life—assessing how Catholics can preserve their heads above water within the sea of immorality that confronts them on this planet, how they are often patriotic although their real nation isn't really during this global, and the way they may reconcile their tasks as voters with their dedication to God. Deeply realized, usually combative, and consistently eloquent, American Babylon is Neuhaus’s magnum opus—and should be crucial examining for all Christians.
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Extra info for American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile
But as we shall see, “American exceptionalism,” also on this score, needs constantly to be reexamined and, when necessary, vigorously defended. We can view the distinctive ways in which American Christians have tried to understand the American story in the light of this long and complex tradition of contesting authorities. ” The image was that of God’s chosen people on their way to the promised land. In that way of telling the story, they were the New Israel. qxd 1/9/09 1:15 PM Page 36 American Babylon In some tellings of the story, they and the New World were Jerusalem, having escaped the captivity of the Babylon of the Old World and, most particularly, having escaped the Babylon of Catholicism and of the insufficiently Protestantized lowercase catholicism that was Anglicanism in the old country.
He believed that the genius of this American experiment, grounded in what he called the American Proposition, is that it provides the procedures and cultivated habits by which the argument could continue as long as the experiment was sustained. The American Proposition is provisional, not eschatological. The final end, the eschatological end, of history is the promised Kingdom of God. Far short of the Kingdom as we are, that final end is, in present time, anticipated in the life of the Church, especially in the Eucharist of the Church, which is the foretaste of the Feast of the Lamb depicted in the Book of Revelation.
Qxd 1/9/09 1:15 PM Page 36 American Babylon In some tellings of the story, they and the New World were Jerusalem, having escaped the captivity of the Babylon of the Old World and, most particularly, having escaped the Babylon of Catholicism and of the insufficiently Protestantized lowercase catholicism that was Anglicanism in the old country. From these Puritan beginnings, American thinking about America would radically reverse the image of exile. In the Puritan view, the Church of The Letter to Diognetus and of Augustine, namely Catholicism, is now Babylon, and the foreign country, namely America, is now the Christian homeland.
American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile by Richard John Neuhaus